May 30th, 2010
Author: Connie Moreno
Marc’s Before Shot
Marc’s After Shot
Marc in Action
About six months ago, I offered clients at CFO a free diet evaluation allowing them take a closer look at their eating habits to see what areas may need improvement. Marc took me up on the offer and quickly got to work on making some significant changes to his diet. I’m really excited about all the progress that he’s made and I’d like to highlight his hard work and success in this week’s post.
1. What kinds of changes have you made to your diet since you joined CFO?
The first major change I made to my diet was to go on the Zone around July 2009. I started with the 40:30:30 proportion and I immediately saw rapid fat loss. However I knew I needed to address food quality as well. At that time the majority of my protein came from dairy. I slowly moved toward eggs, meat and fish. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve completely eliminated all grains, dairy and alcohol.
It took me some time to settle on the amount of protein I need. When I started I had no idea what my lean body mass, so I started with 16 blocks. In October I got fat tested and from that I determined I needed 18 blocks. I upped it to 20 grams early this year, based on activity level.
The biggest amounts I’ve played with are the carbs and fat. Initially, I halved the carbs, mainly because it got tedious trying to find so many carb blocks. That ended up producing better results. Then I reduced it again to a quarter of my protein blocks. So now I’m at 20 Protein 5 Carbs 40 Fat.
2. What’s worked and what hasn’t?
I try not to be obsessive about it, but knowing the amount of food I’m consuming has worked well for me. I’ve tried to go unweighed, unmeasured but I tended to overeat. I know there are so many more things I can do to refine what I eat, such as getting most of my carbs from veggies rather than fruit. But with the constraints of my lifestyle I try and eat the best I can as circumstances allow. Overall, I would say it’s working. I’ve gone from 10.1% body fat in October to 9.5% in March. I feel better, am able to handle what life throws at me much better.
3. How difficult was it to make these changes?
It was not such a dramatic change for me. It was a matter of simply tweaking what I was eating normally. I was already eating a lot of meat, loved fruits and veggies. Most of the adjustment was in the carbs. I loved bread, rice and noodles, as well as beans, corn and potatoes.
The hardest part for me as far as carbs were concerned was getting off rice and noodles. It just seemed such an un-Asian thing to do. It was very much a mental and emotional thing, as are most issues related to food. I made a commitment to eliminate those from my diet and it has been surprisingly easy. And who hasn’t had trouble cutting back on sweets – my big weakness? Ice cream, cheesecake and chocolate. Mmmmmm.
As far as beverages were concerned, I never drank much soda, so eliminating that was easy. Same with alcohol.
In general, it’s been hard finding quality meals, especially since I spend half my time away from home, in airports and hotels. Protein is the hardest to find, so I’m always thrilled when the hotel has eggs for breakfast, especially when they’re free. But as insurance I travel with enough protein to last me 4 days and a pound of almonds. The other difficulty is finding the time in the day to squeeze 5 meals in my waking hours with a reasonable amount of time in between.
4. What’s changes have you seen in your performance, energy, mood, overall health?
The biggest benefit I’ve noticed is that my energy levels stay fairly constant throughout the day. It’s helped me adapt to constant time changes, odd hours and long days. Some days I’m up at 4am on the east coast and the next day I’m up till midnight on the west coast. I’m generally in a much better mood. I’ve been able to keep illness away much better than before. I made it through the past winter without getting sick.
I don’t know if it’s related, but the month of May has historically been the worst month for me during allergy season. But this year, I’ve only had one day when I exhibited severe symptoms.
As for CF-related performance, I’m obviously not making the kind of progress I dream about, but given the life I lead, I am pretty satisfied that I do make slow steady progress. I’ll typically get a PR once a week.
Overall, I feel l am the healthiest I’ve ever been and can take on what challenges life will throw at me. That to me is the most important measure of success.
Give props to Marc in comments. Or, if you have a similar story feel free to share it with us!